Japanese hunters kill 122 pregnant whales during summer months

More than 120 pregnant female whales were among 333 killed during Japan’s recent annual summer hunt off the coast of Antarctica, according to a new report.
The report, released by the International Whaling Commission this month, said 122 of the slaughtered minke whales were pregnant and 114 were considered immature.
The last hunting season in the Antarctic for Japan ran from Dec. 8 to Feb. 28.
Conservationists said the new report was further evidence that Japan was killing whales for commercial purposes under the guise of scientific research.
Whether the annual hunt is legal is unclear, as some federal and international laws are in conflict with one another.
In 2014, the International Court of Justice temporarily banned Japan from whaling in the Antarctic Ocean, after the court found that the annual whale slaughter program was for commercial purposes, which is illegal.
Under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, signed in 1946, nations are allowed a special permit to kill whales for “purposes of scientific research.”
The Japanese government scrapped the whaling program that had been declared illegal, known as Jarpa II, and began a new one in 2015 called Newrep-A. It describes the program as having a scientific purpose, but experts say it is a cover to continue whaling for profit.
Source: NY Times

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